30% natgas cuts to Trinidad chem plants to happen next week

06 September 2012 22:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The National Gas Co (NGC) of Trinidad and Tobago has notified local chemical plants that a previously announced curtailment in natural gas deliveries of up to 30% during the month of September could begin next week, sources said on Thursday.

Methanol and ammonia producers in Trinidad said they have been told by the NGC to expect the natural gas curtailment to begin sometime between 10-20 September.

Earlier, the NGC had said that natural gas deliveries in September will be limited as a result of limited supply from gas supplier BG Trinidad and Tobago (BGTT).

BGTT will perform maintenance on its Dolphin Platform which will necessitate a 30-day shutdown of the platform from 12 September.

NGC said its other gas suppliers, such as BP of Trinidad and Tobago, are unable to increase their gas supplies to fill the void.

NGC said that chemical producers may "wish to take this opportunity to perform necessary maintenance works on your plant in order to minimise the impact of the gas shortfall on your operations".

A source close to Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL), which operates five methanol plants on the island, has scheduled 25 days of maintenance on two plants in response to the curtailment.

MHTL's 580,000 tonne/year M4 unit was taken down on 1 September for 15 days, which will be followed by a 10-day shutdown of the 1.9m tonne/year M5000 plant.

PotashCorp, which operates four ammonia plants at the Point Lisas complex, said it will take down its 556,000 tonne/year 01 plant on 16 September for a maintenance turnaround that is expected to last 21 days.

Yara, which operates three plants at Point Lisas, said it will shut down its Tringen 1 plant when the curtailment begins.

The 11 ammonia plants currently operating in Trinidad have a total capacity of 5.7m tonnes/year.

Additional reporting by Lane Kelley

By: Frank Zaworski
+1 713 525 2653

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